The FIFA World Cup is a competition like no other in football and is undoubtedly the biggest tournament in the sporting arena.
The UEFA Champions League may come closer in terms of game quality, but the long tradition in which the World Cup is anchored puts the latter on a higher rating. The fact that one team can represent a whole country is quite a phenomenon.
In terms of significance, the FIFA World Cup is far ahead of any other sport. Based on the statistics of the latest edition of 2018, over 3 billion fans managed to watch the tournament on television. The final alone attracted a billion viewers.
In this article, we will look at the history of this revered tournament to help you understand how it has grown into a global talking point.
Before the 1920s, the Summer Olympics was the most prestigious tournament. Beyond this period, football enthusiasts wanted to transform the game and instill a level of professionalism, an element that was lacking in the Olympics.
FIFA then embarked on a plan to organize a World Cup. In May 1928, the football governing body resolved to hold the first World Cup edition after two years.
World Cup Editions
Although there had been other international competitions before 1930, they were not recognized by FIFA. The first official FIFA World Cup tournament was held in Uruguay in 1930. As the hosts, Uruguay claimed the champions title after beating Argentina in the finals.
The governing body planned that every World Cup edition would be held after four years. However, the earliest tournaments were affected by high travel costs and war. For instance, many teams from South America did not travel to Europe to participate in the 1934 and 1938 competitions because of these constraints.
The Second World War disrupted the four-year pattern, meaning there were no World Cup matches in 1942 and 1946. The competition resumed in 1950 in Brazil, although attendance was still low due to the tension from the aftermath of the war.
For instance, the British pulled out of the event because they did not want to encounter nations they had been fighting against.
Travel costs, war tensions, and protests affected the membership in the early stages of the FIFA World Cup. In 1982, all issues were settled, and FIFA expanded its membership to 24 teams. Later on, in 1998, the membership was expanded further to 32 to accommodate teams from North America, Asia, and Africa. The latest edition was held in 2018, with France emerging as the winner.
Fans are gearing up for the FIFA World Cup 2022, which will be held in less than two months. Dominant teams like Brazil, Germany, France, England, and Argentina are touted as the favorites to win the tournament.
World Cup Predictions
After a rigorous team selection in the qualifying stages, FIFA has come up with a full list of participating teams and a schedule for this year’s World Cup competition. The teams are pooled into 8 groups. Like football fans, betting companies are equally excited about the availability of massive games to offer predictions.
In total, there will be 64 matches across a whole month. The teams are well prepared to offer their best; hence fans should anticipate top action from every match.
Highly competitive matches imply numerous markets for betting operators. Some markets to anticipate include over/under, double chance, both teams to score, player to score, cards, corners, and more. Each bookmaker will offer a combination of these markets for both pre-match and live bets.
Another feature to look forward to is the quality of the odds. Undoubtedly, you can expect to see highly competitive odds across top bookmakers. Punters will be treated to boosted odds in various games of the tournament.
Bookmakers will also offer numerous bonuses and promotional offers during this period. For example, when you sign up at a betting site, you can anticipate being welcomed with an impressive welcome offer.
Existing customers will receive other offers such as cash outs, cashbacks, reload bonuses, and so much more. Some bookmakers will also design unique seasonal offers specifically for the World Cup; hence, check your favorite bookmaker’s promotional section to take advantage of these offers.